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With the revolutionary news that the Government of Canada has officially legalized recreational cannabis across the country, citizens are beginning to pose questions about how, where, and when they can consume cannabis. Condominium tenants are especially curious-, will the new laws let tenants grow cannabis in their home? Can they consume it within their living space? What about secondhand smoke? Can the landlord stop them? For landlords, will the legalization of cannabis have a drastic impact on their property management?
⅘ Ontarians living in apartments, condominiums or housing co-ops stated that they would want to live in a smoke-free building. With that being said, it is clear that the majority of Ontarians would prefer a smoke-free living environment.
Read on to see more about the current laws regarding smoking in a shared living space.
The Smoke-Free Ontario Act prohibits smoking in shared areas of multi-unit buildings, which can be classified as apartments, condominiums, and co-ops. This means that you can not smoke both tobacco and cannabis in laundry rooms, stairwells, lobbies, elevators, and any other main space your building/housing may have. With that being said, it does not state that you can not smoke in your unit, although not stated in the law, it is also legal for a landlord to make the building 100%-smoke free, even in the tenant’s private living space.
Second-hand smoke is a concern for many families, children, the elderly, and those suffering from medical conditions because it can pose negative and dangerous ramifications. No home is completely airtight and second-hand smoke can easily travel through open windows or doors, including that of a patio or a balcony, electrical outlets, ductwork, phone jacks, piping and just about any crack or gap in a floor, wall or ceiling. Certain buildings are even designed in a way that heating and ventilation systems pass the smoke from unit to another.
So, what if you want to grow cannabis? Well, it all comes down to the tenancy agreement that was drafted to you by your landlord. If there was nothing highlighting that you can not smoke or grow cannabis, then you’re in the clear. You can smoke and grow within the legal amounts but once your tenancy agreement is revised and redrafted, the landlord can update it with rules prohibiting the tenant from growing or consuming.
For those that do not want to consume cannabis in their unit, they will be happy to hear that ⅘ other Ontarians don’t either. Rules like The Smoke-Free Ontario Act allow for tenants to live in a smoke-free environment and stay clear of the smoke.
However, for those who do want to grow or consume cannabis in their unit, it gets a little more tricky. No smoking policies restrict where they can smoke but does not restrict them from smoking. If the landlord decides to implement a 100% Smoke-Free building, the law is that a tenant can smoke 9 meters away from an exit or entrance of any building that is used by the public.
Landlords in Ontario have the right to ban smoking in areas of a building where they see fit, including indoor units and outdoor patios or balconies. While the landlords do have the power to put these clauses in effect, they are required to outline such policies in a tenants’ tenancy agreement. If the agreement does not highlight these agreements, the tenant can do as they see fit.
Landlords are also responsible for the repair of any damaged walls. Ceilings, floors or ventilation systems that are allowing the smoke to enter one’s unit. If you are experiencing this, your landlord should make the repairs as requested. The Residential Tenancies Act allows for tenants to have the right to quiet enjoyment of their home, this means being free from being disturbed by other tenants. If a tenant smoking is bothering you, reach out to your landlord and see what they can do for you.
With the recreational legalization of cannabis, more people are going to be smoking in public, legally and joyfully! The best way to figure out if you are subject to no smoking laws in your tenancy is to simply ask your landlord! Request a tenancy agreement and go through what you can and can’t do. This is the perfect way to see what the exact rules are in your place of occupancy.
Need more information on how the legalization of marijuana will impact your current property? Contact us today!